Sale of luxury vehicles sees 38% jump YoY in June, much ahead of overall automobile sales growth

New Delhi: Sales of luxury vehicles in India grew in the strong double-digits in the first six months of the year, outpacing the overall automotive industry and reaffirming India’s credentials as the fastest growing major economy in the world.

According to industry estimates, about 20,000 luxury vehicles were sold between January and June – a 38% jump over 14,500 units sold in the same period a year ago. Strong consumer demand, especially at the top end of the market, and healthy order books across manufacturers will help sustain momentum through the year and push overall volumes past the pre-pandemic peak of 40,000 units in 2018, senior industry executives told ET.

Meanwhile, overall passenger vehicle sales rose by about 10% to over 2 million units in the first half of 2023.

The numbers mark the best half-yearly sales performance recorded in both, the luxury segment as well as the mass car market, for the country.

India’s FY24 growth forecast was recently revised by ratings agency Fitch to 6.3%, from the earlier 6%, on the back of robust near-term momentum and better-than-expected first quarter results. Globally, Germany, Europe’s largest economy, officially entered recession in the first quarter.

Merc, BMW and Audi Optimistic
Standard Chartered has predicted that the US will see recession in early 2024 amid severe inflationary pressures.Meanwhile, domestically, German luxury carmakers Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi posted strong growth during January-June. While sales at market leader Mercedes-Benz India grew 13% to 8,528 units, Audi India nearly doubled volumes to 3,474 units. BMW India is yet to release sales numbers officially.

Mercedes-Benz India managing director Santosh Iyer told ET, “We have seen strong growth in the first half, with sales at the top end growing by 54% over last year. We expect the momentum to continue and double-digit growth in sales in the ongoing calendar year.”

Enquiries are up by 10% at the carmaker ahead of the festive season starting August 28.

Higher disposable incomes among the well-heeled have been strengthening demand for vehicles priced above Rs 1 crore. Top-end vehicles now constitute about a fourth of sales at Mercedes-Benz India.

“The waiting is higher on top-end vehicles, ranging from five to six months on the GLS to 24 months on the GL 63,” said Iyer. Mercedes-Benz currently has pending orders for 3,500 units.


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